Edmund Elys

(c. 1634—1707) nonjuring Church of England clergyman and writer

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Edmund Elys was born at Haccombe, Devon and died probably in Totnes. The son of a rector, he went to Balliol College, Oxford, receiving an MA in 1658, before succeeding his father as rector of Haccombe. He seems to have been in legal trouble for much of his life, being arrested on suspicion of treason in 1659 and imprisoned for debt in 1680. Refusing to take the oath of allegiance to William III, he was deprived of his living and retired to Totnes. He wrote a number of tracts and pamphlets on religious subjects; his religious views were of an illuminationist variety, and he wrote against George Keith. His most philosophical work was A Refutation of Some of the False Conceits in Mr. Locke's ‘Essay concerning Human Understanding’ (1697). Here, Elys defended the idea of God as innate, against Locke's rejection of all innate ideas. Unlike Locke, he believes that the notion of an idea in the mind of which we are not conscious is intelligible.

From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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